Marriner's an accomplished Rossinian whose traversal of these operatic overtures has been admired since their first appearances on mid-1970s LPs. A selection of eight, including such favorites as The Barber of Seville, Il Signor Bruschino, and others, is here released on a hybrid SACD-blue book CD disc in their original quadraphonic state. The sound sparkles in whatever medium used and the performances retain their brio too, in these lightfooted, invigorating performances. Marriner's orchestra puts the bubbles in these glasses of aural champagne with playing of razor-sharp precision, faultless intonation, and beautifully polished solo turns, especially in the all-important winds. The extensive buttery horn solo in the Overture to Il Turco in Italia is just one of many such impressive examples. Marriner also brings out the sheer ingenuity Rossini lavished on these works, so full of satisfying surprises, thrilling crescendos, and inventive orchestration despite their often formulaic structure. Vivid sonics in whichever medium you choose--SACD, quad or stereo, or standard CD--seal a strong recommendation. --Dan Davis
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